Monday, December 26, 2011

When it comes to gaining exposure for my little art blog, there aren’t a lot of footsteps to follow.  There are some very excellent sketch blogs and fantastic artblogs, how to tutorial blogs that offer lots of insight and helpful information, and review blogs that alert readers to products both indispensible and potentially troublesome, but there aren’t many dedicated artblogs that combine all of these aspects.  I have to turn my attention instead to the fashion blogging community, and take note of their methods for gaining exposure and monetizing, for attracting sponsors and dealing with customers, because I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: artblogs, even great ones, aren’t the most popular blogs on the internet.

Writing a good art blog is a bit like grinding in an oldschool RPG video game.  I am constantly looking for new content (fighting harder monsters), writing tutorials for subjects that I may not have mastered (battling bosses), and exploring new avenues for exposure (uh…unlocking more story? This metaphor may be stretched a bit).  It’s a juggling act coming up with entertaining imagery and prose, and some times I’m more successful than others.  My efforts have been moderately rewarded, and I plan to continue my efforts.
If you are looking to improve your art blog, I suggest you too take a few cues from fashion bloggers.  There’s a wealth of tutorials, advice, and information that can be easily applied to what art bloggers do, especially if you show a little imagination.

You should first consider adopting a code of ethics that applies not only to the material you post, but how you deal with other bloggers, comments, and possible sponsorships.  I made a vow to post every comment that wasn’t spam or obvious trolling, even if it wasn’t flattering, because honesty is important to me, and I want to foster open communication on my blog.  The best way to get honest critique (which is something I always want) is to make it known that you are receptive and grateful, which is why all comments are posted; good or bad.  I’ve also decided not to accept any product that can’t be used to improve this blog or to improve the lives of my readers, and have turned down a few offers.  Monetizing this blog was a hard decision to make, as I find Google Ads to be fairly ugly, but it was a gesture of love to raise money to help a friend achieve one of her artistic goals, and my objective of encouraging a positive and helpful artistic community supercedes my dislike of ads cluttering up my pages.  I try to include the sort of material I would have found useful before attending SCAD, so I post about a variety of subjects, and often offer advice and motivation, as that’s what I needed as an 18 year old wannabe comic artist.  This blog is about my art, not about me, so I try to keep personal posts to a minimum.  I want this blog to reflect my professionalism and work ethic, so I keep my topics professional.  When you are planning your blog, plan it with this code of ethics in mind, and stand by it  A man is nothing if his word can’t be trusted.

(You could let your conscience be your guide, or you could read this http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp for some ideas)